Cayman 27 – ARCHIVE

Economic, family stress fuelling demand for mental health services

Clinical director and psychotherapist Sutton Burke says there are many factors that could be causing this increase.

“The high cost of living with no increase in what people are making, so disparity in people’s incomes and the stress that that brings. The demands of certain stressors of a job and a family.There are a lot of stressors on people that trigger certain mental health issues,” she explained.

Ms. Burke said abuse of alcohol and controlled substances may also be leading higher incidences of mental illness.

“Certain drugs that are coming into our islands, the more that we are going to see an increase in mental health concerns. There are certain drugs that will also trigger a psychotic episode or some type of mental issue or concern.

Beyond this, Ms. Burke said more people are talking about mental health, which is why more people may be asking for help.

She told Cayman 27, “More and more organisations are getting out there to break the stigma of mental health and therefore more people are reaching out for support and more people are acknowledging that they have a problem.”

Ms. Burke said those fighting these battles still face a lingering stigma about mental health issues and seeking therapy.

She advised that society must also become more savvy about recognising mental illness, teaching emotional intelligence and ensuring patients take their medication.

Information about the HSA’s Psychiatry and Behavioural Services unit can be found at their website:

About the author

Natalie Briggs

Natalie Briggs

Natalie Briggs has worked in television, radio and print since 2002, including stints at Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT/CNMG), Radio 97, The Trinidad Guardian and Newsday. She has an MA in Media, Communications and Public Relations.

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